Bigmacbear's Den

The Human Nose As a Musical Instrument


Some people were taught as children that when blowing your nose, you only do one side at a time, completely closing one nostril with your finger. Others simply hold the hankie or tissue over the nose and blow. The latter method of nose blowing (which I tend to use) produces a distinct and often very loud pitch.


To produce a musical pitch with your nose:
Lightly press both nostrils together (through a hankie or tissue) with your fingers. Do not completely close either nostril. Blow forcefully through the nose. A loud note will result.


This is highly dependent on your nasal anatomy and the force used to press against the nose. The more pressure, the higher the pitch. I have been able to produce notes in the range of the C below middle C to the F above that. If I'm simply blowing my nose, the usual pitch tends to be between D and E on the bass staff.
It should probably go without saying that if you have a reason to be blowing your nose other than making music, such as allergies, a cold, or a sinus condition, the material to be expelled will alter the pitch. Be sure to clear the nose in the conventional manner, offstage, before every performance.

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